Herbal Monograph: Mullein

Posted by Emily Rubeo on

Another herbal monograph so you can understand more about the wonderful botanicals in our products and why they are there.


Another one of the herbs I will always have in my apothecary and one you can forage in many places (including my woods!) The pictures are from my property. This is a great herb going into cold and flu season.

Common name: Mullein
Botanical name: Verbascum thapsus
Parts used:  Flowers (second year plants)
Leaves (first year plants)
Roots (first fall or winter)
Energetics: Leaf and flower: Cooling and moist. The root: warming. It has a slightly bitter, earthy taste.
Key constituents: polysaccharides, flavonoids, sterols, mucilage, saponins, tannins, and volatile oils.
Plant properties and actions: Expectorant, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, vulnerary and antioxidant.
Plant uses & indications: asthma, bronchitis, bruises, cough, cold, earache (flower), eczema, flu, chronic lung issues, hemorrhoids, respiratory illness with signs of heat, wounds, urinary tract infections
Safety: The tiny hairs on the underside of the leaves may be irritating to those with sensitive skin. No adverse events, contraindications or interactions known.
Medicinal properties:
  • Respiratory Health: Mullein is very beneficial as a respiratory remedy and is ideal for toning mucous membranes. It reduces inflammation and stimulates fluid production and thus facilitates expectoration. It is considered a specific herb for bronchitis with a hard cough and soreness. Mullein's anti-inflammatory and demulcent qualities makes it very useful for inflammation of the trachea and all associated conditions. Some of the anti-inflammatory compounds that Mullein contains are Quercetin, Luteolin and Kaempferol. It also has strong antioxidant properties.
  • Antimicrobial and anti-fungal: The antimicrobial properties of mullein have been looked at by researchers in fighting microbes found in UTIs.. Extracts of this herb work against several including Candida Albicans and E Coli.
    Clinical trials have established the effectiveness of Mullein for earaches especially in combination with other herbs such as Saint John's wort and Garlic.
  • Skin healing: For external use an extract made by infusing flowers in oil is excellent for soothing and healing surface inflammation and wounds
Growing Mullein: Mullein is a biennial. The first year it forms a woolly rosette and the second it sends up its tall (up to 7 feet!) flowering stalk. If you leave some of the stalks standing in the garden they will serve as condominiums for insects that birds will feed on throughout the months. Mullein will grow in many conditions including even lava fields. It would happily grown in your garden too though. It will enjoy some full sun and well drained, nutrient rich soil. It is easy to start from seed and once established will self-sow. It will thrive in a zone 3 all the way to zone 8 garden.
Given all these amazing applications, it now won't surprise you to find where I use Mullein...
Medical Herbalism, David Hoffman
The Botanical Safety Handbook,
Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar
The Botanical Institute

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